It’s preseason game number two for the Jaguars in Minnesota after Jacksonville concluded practicing for two days with the Vikings at their facilities.
We will likely see starters on both sides for both teams play through much of the first half of the contest.
With that in mind, here are three things we’ll be watching out for Saturday afternoon:
Jaguars running game
It’s no secret that the foundation of the Jags offense is based around the ability of the backs, specifically Leonard Fournette, to get something going on the ground. This is key for the play action pass game that QB Blake Bortles succeeds the best off of, as the game where’s on.
Now, it would not be surprising if Fournette only sees a series or two. After all, he’s way to valuable to risk injury in meaningless August games. Fournette did carry it eight times for 24 yards last week against the Saints.
However, back up running back T.J. Yeldon should see some significant time in this one. Yeldon played well, as a stand-in for Fournette a couple of times a year ago. However, he’s never really lived up to his second round draft status. He carried five times last Thursday night.
Backups Corey Grant and Tim Cook will also see some action, as the game continues, especially in the second half.
Pressure on Vikings QB Kirk Cousins
Minnesota broke the bank giving Cousins a massive three year free agent contract, completely guaranteed, at over $80 million. Those staggering numbers mean that the Vikings intend to have Cousins sling the ball, a bunch, throughout 2018.
Cousins led a crisp opening drive in Denver (above) in his debut last Saturday night
However, on Saturday, he’s facing one of the top pass rushing teams in the NFL in the Jaguars.
Granted the week got off to a rocky start with defensive line mates Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue scuffling at the end of Sunday’s practice. Fowler, and defensive back Jalen Ramsey were both suspended for the rest of the week and left home for their actions.
So, now will the Jags D be able to refocus and see players like Calais Campbell, Ngakoue, Lerentee McCray and Marcel Dareus be able to solidify things along the defensive line? Also, it’s unclear if rookie first round pick DT Taven Bryan will suit up in this one. He was with the team going through part of the workouts in Minnesota, but it’s questionable as to his status.
Handle the environment
Unlike last week at home, the Jaguars are playing in the domed U.S. Bank Stadium and there is massive support and optimism for the Vikes in 2018.
Preseason or not, the loud crowd will make it hard to hear for Bortles and the offense early.
Will the Jags keep composure and mental errors to a minimum?
Will the inability to verbally communicate at times on the field rattle them?
We’re about to find out.
News7 days ago
Report- Former USF coach Leavitt out as Oregon DC, FSU next?
Florida Gators1 week ago
Gators about to lose DC Todd Grantham to Bengals?
News1 day ago
Was Spring AAF league on verge of folding?
Jacksonville Jaguars2 days ago
Jaguars make contract moves Monday afternoon
Florida State Seminoles5 days ago
FSU offensive line coach Greg Frey dismissed Friday morning
Florida State Seminoles4 days ago
Florida State already has line coach targeted
Florida Gators3 days ago
Tim Tebow on lure of AAF Spring league: “Coach Spurrier keeps calling”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers1 week ago
Bucs released DE Vinny Curry Tuesday